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Effects of acute exposure to moderate altitude on vascular function, metabolism and systemic inflammation


Stöwhas, Anne-Christin; Latshang, Tsogyal D; Lo Cascio, Christian M; Lautwein, Sina; Stadelmann, Katrin; Tesler, Noemi; Ayers, Lisa; Berneis, Kaspar; Gerber, Philipp A; Huber, Reto; Achermann, Peter; Bloch, Konrad E; Kohler, Malcolm (2013). Effects of acute exposure to moderate altitude on vascular function, metabolism and systemic inflammation. PLoS ONE, 8(8):e70081.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Travel to mountain areas is popular. However, the effects of acute exposure to moderate altitude on the cardiovascular system and metabolism are largely unknown.
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effects of acute exposure to moderate altitude on vascular function, metabolism and systemic inflammation.
METHODS: In 51 healthy male subjects with a mean (SD) age of 26.9 (9.3) years, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, heart rate, arterial stiffness, lipid profiles, low density lipoprotein (LDL) particle size, insulin resistance (HOMA-index), highly-sensitive C-reactive protein and pro-inflammatory cytokines were measured at 490 m (Zurich) and during two days at 2590 m, (Davos Jakobshorn, Switzerland) in randomized order. The largest differences in outcomes between the two altitudes are reported.
RESULTS: Mean (SD) oxygen saturation was significantly lower at 2590 m, 91.0 (2.0)%, compared to 490 m, 96.0 (1.0)%, p<0.001. Mean blood pressure (mean difference +4.8 mmHg, p<0.001) and heart rate (mean difference +3.3 bpm, p<0.001) were significantly higher at 2590 m, compared to 490 m, but this was not associated with increased arterial stiffness. At 2590 m, lipid profiles improved (median difference triglycerides -0.14 mmol/l, p=0.012, HDL +0.08 mmol/l, p<0.001, total cholesterol/HDL-ratio -0.25, p=0.001), LDL particle size increased (median difference +0.45 nm, p=0.048) and hsCRP decreased (median difference -0.18 mg/l, p=0.024) compared to 490 m. No significant change in pro-inflammatory cytokines or insulin resistance was observed upon ascent to 2590 m.
CONCLUSIONS: Short-term stay at moderate altitude is associated with increased blood pressure and heart rate likely due to augmented sympathetic activity. Exposure to moderate altitude improves the lipid profile and systemic inflammation, but seems to have no significant effect on glucose metabolism.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01130948.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Travel to mountain areas is popular. However, the effects of acute exposure to moderate altitude on the cardiovascular system and metabolism are largely unknown.
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effects of acute exposure to moderate altitude on vascular function, metabolism and systemic inflammation.
METHODS: In 51 healthy male subjects with a mean (SD) age of 26.9 (9.3) years, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, heart rate, arterial stiffness, lipid profiles, low density lipoprotein (LDL) particle size, insulin resistance (HOMA-index), highly-sensitive C-reactive protein and pro-inflammatory cytokines were measured at 490 m (Zurich) and during two days at 2590 m, (Davos Jakobshorn, Switzerland) in randomized order. The largest differences in outcomes between the two altitudes are reported.
RESULTS: Mean (SD) oxygen saturation was significantly lower at 2590 m, 91.0 (2.0)%, compared to 490 m, 96.0 (1.0)%, p<0.001. Mean blood pressure (mean difference +4.8 mmHg, p<0.001) and heart rate (mean difference +3.3 bpm, p<0.001) were significantly higher at 2590 m, compared to 490 m, but this was not associated with increased arterial stiffness. At 2590 m, lipid profiles improved (median difference triglycerides -0.14 mmol/l, p=0.012, HDL +0.08 mmol/l, p<0.001, total cholesterol/HDL-ratio -0.25, p=0.001), LDL particle size increased (median difference +0.45 nm, p=0.048) and hsCRP decreased (median difference -0.18 mg/l, p=0.024) compared to 490 m. No significant change in pro-inflammatory cytokines or insulin resistance was observed upon ascent to 2590 m.
CONCLUSIONS: Short-term stay at moderate altitude is associated with increased blood pressure and heart rate likely due to augmented sympathetic activity. Exposure to moderate altitude improves the lipid profile and systemic inflammation, but seems to have no significant effect on glucose metabolism.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01130948.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology

04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Pneumology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Endocrinology and Diabetology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:August 2013
Deposited On:19 Nov 2013 12:52
Last Modified:06 Aug 2017 23:53
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0070081
PubMed ID:23936377

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